I love to buy books and I can’t pass a bookstore (or a booth at a conference) without making at least one purchase, although usually it’s more than one!
During the VSRA Conference, I visited the Bookworm Central booth on two different occasions. I picked up a variety of books from chapter books and graphic novels to early readers and picture books. As I browsed the booth, I picked out books with specific students in mind. For example, one of my fifth grade boys is hooked on the Lunch Lady series, so I picked up one for him. I also selected Leroy Ninker Saddles Up for a student who loved Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. While this gets expensive in terms of money, the payback that I receive when a child waits after class to request one of my new purchases or when a child says, “I’m going to read Comics Squad first, then I want to try the Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
I want my students to have a lot of options, which requires me to keep a classroom library that can meet those needs. It’s also essential that my classroom library grow and evolve over time. While there are many “classic” books that I love to share with students, there are also so many new books published each year that students also need to access. I cannot imagine not adding a book like El Deafo or Sam and Dave Dig a Hole to my library. So, while this can sometimes be an expensive undertaking, when I see my students enjoying these books, it’s all worth it!